Introduction to Google Fusion Tables: Creating a Map of Child Immunization Rates in Kenya

1.  Go to and search Kenya_counties and download the file in KML format onto your desktop.Open Gmail.  Open Google Drive.  Click “Create” and select “Fusion Table.”  Upload the KLM file you just downloaded .  Click “Next.” And “Next.” And “Finish.”

Your screen should look like this:

Fusion 1

2.  Click on the tab labeled Map of Geometry.  Go to File and select “Geocode.” Select name and “begin geocoding.”

Fusion 2

3. Go back to the Rows 1 tab.  Look for rows that did not geocode correctly and are still in yellow.  Click on “Kisumo” and select the pencil (edit) tool.  Select “edit geocode.”  DON’T just type in the correct spelling before selecting “edit geocode” Type in “Kisumu, Kenya” and hit search.  Select the point for Kisumu and hit save or done.

4. Correct any other capitalization or punctuation errors.  You can also do this beforehand to avoid having to re geolocate the corrected names.

5. Now you are ready to merge the map with your data set. On the Kenya Open Data Portal,  export this file: as .  Familiarize yourself with how the data is organized.  Make sure that data entry starts in cell A1.

6.  Go back to your Google Drive and upload the file as a Google Fusion Table.  Go back to your Fusion Table with county borders and go to File, Merge.  Select the Fusion Table you just uploaded.  The following menu should appear and you should change the selection under This table from “description” to “name” so that Google Fusion tables knows to match county names in one file with county names in the other.  Click “Next.”  You can leave all columns selected and decide later which to include in your map.

Fusion 6

7. Click “Merge” and “View table.” Another tab should open.  Go to Tools and Select columns if you want to hide columns so you can better see the data on your table.  Go to Map of Geometry.  Click on a county to see what happens.  You will see a lot of data comes up in the window.

8.  To create a cloropleth map, go to the drop down menu on Map of Geometry and select Change Map Styles.  Under Polygons select Fill Color.  Then go to Buckets.  Select Divide into “5″ buckets and under Column name choose “All Vaccinations.”

Fusion 8

9.  Notice anything strange?  Bungoma is a different color because it is spelled wrong.  And everything else is the same color, which is not quite what we had in mind.  Go back the Kenya Counties map and correct Bungoma by geolocating it and changing the name.  It will automatically update in your merged map.  Also, look closely at Muranga.  On the border file it is spelled Muranga and on the data file it is spelled Murang’a.  Since non-standard punctuation can confuse Google Fusion Tables, remove the apostrophe on the data file and geo-locate the new spelling.  It should not appear on the map like all the others.

10.  So now we at least have everything uniformly the wrong color.  Maybe the legend will give us a clue.  So go back to Map Styles, select Legend, Automatic Legend, and select. Show polygon fill legend.  Since it is reading all immunizations percentages as under 20% our problem is probably that the percentages are being read as a decimal, not as a percentage.  So let’s try to fix the format.  Go back to the Rows 1 tab.  On the triangle menu next to All Vaccines, select Change and change the format on the drop down menu to percentage.  Do the same with any other data you may want to include in the map.

Fusion 10

11. Go back to Map of Geometry and note that now our legend has gone crazy.  To fix this go back to Change Map Feature Styles, select Polygons, Fill Color.  Go to buckets.  Since the scale is now automatically multiplying by 100. we need to divide by 100.  So have the scale go from 0.0 to 0.2, 0.2 to 0.4, etc.  end with 1.01 because if you end with 100% it won’t include 100%.

Fusion 11

12.  Now we want to make it pretty!  Unfortunately Google Fusion colors are ugly.  So we go to to find better ones.  Choose the number of data classes in your map (in our case, 5) and choose a color scheme you like.  Select hex as the color format and copy everything after the x for each color.   Paste that into your bucket menu for each color after the pound # sign.  Like so:

Fusion 12a

Fusion 12b

13.  Change the line color and width on the same map styles menu if you want to make it easier to distinguish between counties.

14.  Now let’s turn our attention to the information we want displayed for each county.  Go to the Map of Geometry window and select Change info window layout.  Unselect the columns that you do not want to appear for each county.  If you know a little bit about code you can go into Custom and change the formatting of the text.  Save changes.  To change the title of the map, double click on the title.  Also remember to attribute your source and link to the original data here.  In this case it is KODI:

15. When you are done select Tools, Publish and save with the dimensions for wherever you will be embedding the map.


Eva Constantaras
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